British Athletics could be forced to axe its two Diamond League meetings if it fails to secure a television deal.

Recently-appointed UK Athletics chief executive Joanna Coates is in talks with various broadcasters with the BBC’s £2.5 million contract expiring after this weekend’s domestic championships in Manchester. But, if a lucrative replacement cannot be found, next year’s planned showpiece events in London and Gateshead may be too expensive to stage, with Nike’s sponsorship backing for UKA also understood to be linked to the meets.

Coates said: “It has to make commercial sense. We cannot take the sort of losses we have taken on some of our major events. I think we can fill the London Stadium, I think we can stretch out ticket prices. But the broadcast revenue for that was a substantial amount of the income that came into that.

“So if we haven't got that same income coming in, we'll have to look at other ways - through ticketing or through additional commercial rights or indeed partnerships with other people. So I would hate to think that we wouldn't have a Diamond League, and if we were to have one, I would imagine it would be London because that's where it makes commercial sense to have it.”

The UK Championships lacked a depth of star quality with A-Listers such as Laura Muir, Mo Farah and Katarina Johnson-Thompson opting to compete overseas in recent days where competitive races and prize money are on offer.

That has exposed a breakdown between the sport and its leading lights, Coates admitted, which needs addressed under a revamped regime.

But she said: “I'm not going to criticise athletes for the choice that they make because our whole new strategy is going to be about putting our athletes first. I understand they've had big pay cuts, where they haven't been able to compete. I understand they've got obligations to sponsors and they need the money from competition. I can completely understand that. But of course it's disappointing.”